The Key to Self-Transcendence

Emptiness does not cling to being and becoming. I know, the implications of this are close to “Form is emptiness; emptiness is form”. But that is not quite accurate, because the obverse relation—”being and becoming cling to emptiness”— is falsifiable by inspection. Being has only itself to cling to, and of course emptiness is incapable of clinging to anything, since its very nature is the absence of ‘things’. Only the second limb of the tetralemma of emptiness/clinging/being is valid.

As we discussed in a recent post and video, the Buddha’s teaching has the unique property of self-transcendence. The key to this astonishing property is its apophatic periphraxis, already discussed, and the ontological triple of Causality, Emptiness and Non-Clinging.

Causality: The principle of paṭicca-samuppāda (Dependent Origination): “When this is, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises; when this is not, that does not come to be, with the stopping of this, that is stopped.” — Vera Sutta (AN 10.92) Continue reading The Key to Self-Transcendence


The Signless

So I’m sitting here in the midst of the tremendous insight I had back in August, and finally articulated just now, trying to process and digest its tremendous significance. The power of the apophatic structure of the Buddha’s teaching rests in the fact that nibbāna cannot become a symbol, a concept; it must remain ever and always an ineffable living experience of transcendence, or the essence of the Buddha’s teaching will be lost.

Simultaneously, the function of the Eightfold Noble Path as ‘a process of becoming that leads to the end of becoming’ is revealed to be applicable to any set of aggregates. In fact, the more drastic the change, the more bizarre the configuration of aggregates we find ourselves beset by, the more powerful the Buddha’s teaching shines as a means to transcend their influence. This is the source of its profound and unprecedented antifragility. Continue reading The Signless

One Last Video

The recent post, Apophatic Periphraxis, will be our final video for the foreseeable future. I have finally built up sufficient ontological context, the framework of understanding to be able to say that. If you have followed our series from the beginning you will have no trouble understanding it. This is my ultimate public contribution in the realm of original thought.

I have been making videos on various topics associated with the Buddha’s teaching for almost four years now. There are well over two hundred videos, (many unpublished) spanning a vast gamut of topics: from the basics of how to overcome learning disabilities and cognitive impairment from forced mass schooling, to the deepest and most difficult subjects like Nibbāna and the advanced apophatic ontological model of the Buddha’s teaching. Continue reading One Last Video

Concept & Reality 1.4—Apophatic Periphraxis

Apophatic Periphraxis: Nibbāna the Inexpressible

Please see the full documentation

  • Apophasis means talking about a subject that remains tacit, unspoken.
  • Periphraxis refers to circumlocution, indirection or euphemism.
  • An example of apophasis is the KITE essay.
  • An example of periphaxis is a woman complaining that she ‘doesn’t have anything to wear,’ when her real concern is that her wardrobe makes her look fat.

Continue reading Concept & Reality 1.4—Apophatic Periphraxis

Concept & Reality 1.3—Etymology of Papañca

Please see for documentation.
The contexts in which the term is located are, on the whole, psychological in their import. The Madhupiṇḍika Sutta (MN 18) points to the fact that papañca is essentially connected with the process of sense perception, and so also does the Kalahavivāda Sutta (Snp 4.11) when it emphatically states that papañca-saṅkhā have their origin in sense perception (saññā-nidānā hi papañca-saṅkhā). The following formula of sense perception occurring in the Madhupiṇḍika Sutta may however be regarded as the locus classicus, as it affords us a clearer insight into the problem of papañca: Continue reading Concept & Reality 1.3—Etymology of Papañca

Concept & Reality 1.2—Etiology of Papañca

Please see for documentation.
The term papañca, as it occurs in the Pali Canon, has presented considerable difficulty of interpretation. Attempts at its definition, by the commentators as well as by present-day scholars, have given rise to divergent conclusions. It is, however, generally agreed that the determination of its significance is fundamental to a proper understanding of the philosophy of early Buddhism. Continue reading Concept & Reality 1.2—Etiology of Papañca